Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Saturday, 11 July 2009 16:53 UK

Ex-mayor's aide cleared of fraud

Lee Jasper
Mr Jasper resigned as Ken Livingstone's race adviser in 2008

Former mayoral adviser Lee Jasper has been cleared of fraudulently giving funds to groups he was associated with.

Mr Jasper resigned as race adviser to ex-London Mayor Ken Livingstone in March 2008 amid allegations over the allocation of public funds.

District auditor Michael Haworth-Maden found no evidence of misuse of funds.

He found "significant gaps" in Greater London Authority (GLA) records but did not call for further inquiry. The mayor will consider his report this week.

Last year the Evening Standard newspaper identified 13 groups run by associates of Mr Jasper that received a total of £3.5m from City Hall but apparently delivered little or nothing in return.

Mr Haworth-Maden said he found no evidence of fraud or corruption but called for a number of administrative improvements at the GLA.

'Inappropriate' role

His report found that Mr Jasper failed to record declared interests to the "standards expected".

He also found that Mr Jasper's role in approving funding was "inappropriate given his interests" in a number of cases.

Mr Jasper was an ex-director of the 1990 Trust, a group which received £192,000 from the GLA, the report said.

I am very happy that they have finally and conclusively cleared my name
Lee Jasper

He also had personal or business relationships with a number of directors of the Black Londoners' Forum, which received £368,550 from the GLA.

Mr Haworth-Maden said: "Whilst I have found no evidence of the misappropriation of funds, I am unable to conclude that the authority can demonstrate that it has achieved value for money for the funding it has provided to the Black Londoners' Forum and the 1990 Trust."

The report also found administrative problems relating to other groups allocated money by the GLA, namely Afroice and the National Assembly Against Racism.

Mr Haworth-Maden said that while there were "weaknesses in the approach adopted by the authority and a failure to demonstrate value for money", he did not believe further inquiries were necessary.

The GLA's audit panel is due to discuss the report at City Hall on Thursday.

Mr Jasper said he believed the report, along with a London Development Agency report published earlier this year, put an end to the allegations made against him.

He said: "I am very happy that they have finally and conclusively cleared my name.

"All have come to exactly the same conclusion - there are no 'missing millions.'"



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SEE ALSO
'Millions wasted' by mayoral team
16 Jul 08 |  London
City Hall probe clears two groups
22 May 08 |  London
Mayor's race adviser steps down
04 Mar 08 |  London

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